loose tea for loose women

March 2015




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Jun. 20th, 2013

spies mfu goodliest outside napoleon

bring me your lovely light. i'll be your satellite.

I totally just did a tripod headstand with no spotter and no wall. This physical fitness thing is really awesome.

(Scott took the photo. Because he is tolerant. And he's been spotting me since last year some time while I practiced. He is a patient soul.)

I have not been this geeked about a yoga accomplishment since wheel pose. (Proper crow was pretty exciting too, I admit. And handstands, even though I still use a wall and cheat to get up. And bound side angle. But wheel was the best! And so is this. Exhilarating. Success, when you have worked for it, is the greatest thing in the world.)

You practice and practice and accept that you're never going to get it and you fall over a lot and then one day it happens and it's actually easy. Easy-ish. Easier than you expected. Much easier than the practicing made it seem like it would be.

I was thirty years old before I learned how to learn things. Nobody has ever taught me. Either I could do things or I couldn't, and there was never anybody who explained to me that no, you have to study. You have to fail. And keep failing better (and trying different things and researching and stuff) until you're not failing any more.

It was writing novels that taught me this, by the way. Because I never could. And then eventually I just kept trying long enough and did. Then I wrote four more, and sold one.

Reader, I had an epiphany. Stuff doesn't just happen or not happen. I mean, some of it does. But some of it happens because you keep doing hard things long enough to learn the knack of it, and then it's less hard.

Writing novels is exactly the same thing as running thirteen miles, or doing a headstand, or learning how to cook.

And I'm better at this stuff at 41 than I was at 14. It's amazing how useful it is to know how to learn things.

Also, damn, have I got some spinal erectors going on. Let's hear it for deadlifts, boys and girls.

Now to work on my form.

Dec. 1st, 2012

always winter

didn't want to be... your ghost.

This is a post about physical fitness. If that sort of thing bothers you, by all means page down!

Also, this is a post entirely about me. I support anybody's right to live in their body as they choose without judgment; this is how I choose to live in mine.

The thing about physical fitness is that it never actually gets easier. You just suck at a higher level.

So I just got back from a nice little three mile run in the snow. (Okay, 2.8 miles.) It was beautiful and cold and if it weren't for my damned glasses fogging, I would have called it a perfect outing. (I only made about 11 minute miles, but I was being pretty careful of my footing.)

Two years ago, that would have been beyond the limit of my capability. I was struggling to break 12 minute miles at that point, and didn't really start running father than 5K until last winter. Now I can run ten miles in a little less than two hours, over a hilly route. It's fucking exhausting, and I only do it once a week... but the result is that shorter runs now feel like kind of a treat. (I can run eight miles twice a week. Funny how much of a difference that last two miles makes.)

So the edge has gotten further away--but the days when I run ten miles are just as hard as it used to be to run four.

Still, it's really nice to look at livejournal posts from May 2011 and see myself saying "Someday I will run 5K at more than a shuffling jog." Because today is that someday. And the hills I'm crushing (or that are crushing me!) now are bigger and steeper than the hills I was struggling with then.

Progress. It's important to track it.

You have to push the edge, in other words, for stuff like what I did today to start getting easier.

Still, I'm pretty damned content with my fitness level at this point. I haven't been climbing much (or at all, for a month, alas) but I've been working hard at yoga and running, and my biceps are actually starting to develop that little notch at the bottom. I have tripod balance more or less down, and I'm working on turning it into a free standing headstand. I fall over a lot!

Also, new more muscular and tighter thighs mean I can do tree pose, bound side angle, and proper not-cheating crow like a boss. I am very, very fond of my massive running-on-hills quadriceps and hamstrings.

Rar! I'm back on a more restrictive Discipline, because my blood pressure had crept back up at my last checkup, and my goal now is to maintain myself at the current level of fitness (I toy with the idea of training for a half-marathon, but conveniently the Hartford Marathon is the same weekend as Viable Paradise and honestly I don't REALLY want to run more than I already do, so I'm off the hook) and get a little leaner. (I suspect a lot of my recent improvements in running have to do with being lighter--it's a hell of a lot easier to shove 190 pounds up a hill or drag it up a wall than it is to do the same to 230 pounds.)

I would really like to stay off the hypertension meds. I do not like the side effects. Family history may be against me, though...

And now it's time to do some yoga, and then eat all the things.

Sep. 20th, 2012

criminal minds reid runs like a girl

this time i'm giving up. simply giving up on you.

NB: This post contains exercise and fitness talk.

I had a heck of a time dragging myself out for a run today (had a hard time falling asleep last night, with a result that, um, I didn't get up at 6:30 as I had planned. Silly Bear. And I woke up moody and sad.) and the first two miles were grim determination and lies. But I got there, and then it got easier (I like jogging at Scott's house: Wisconsin is a hell of a lot flatter than Massachusetts!) and I wound up doing 7.6 miles in 11:30 minute-miles. With enough left at the end to... well, not exactly sprint, but at least run rather than jogging the last 2/10th of a mile, which actually felt really good. I like it on those rare occasions when I can actually run, when the meat cooperates and I feel powerful and swift and springy. My hip was hurting, but I'm kind of used to that; it's been dodgy since I was in high school and I'm used to just kind of working through it.

Even the last mile wasn't too bad. The sun was warmer than I like, but the air was beautiful and cool, and for bits of it I actually had a good wind at my back. I may have found myself, um, enjoying those bits. Well, it's only taken five years to stop hating the whole thing...

Then, of course, I promptly had an asthma attack, but that's why God made Ventalin. :-P

I'm doing more weight circuits and hiking here, and (alas) no climbing (I have fingernails! It's so weird!) but I'm trying to do a distance run at least once a week, preferably twice, so I don't lose my hard-earned wind--and I've been exceptionally good about my yoga. Tree pose with my foot actually on my thigh! And when Rodney says "Knee to nose" I can actually do it, now! This makes me think my belly and thighs are shrinking, though my clothes don't seem any looser and the scale's not budging--I think I look different in the mirror around the ribcage, however, and my bras seem to fit more smoothly through the band. And there are great and terrible abdominal muscles in there. I can feel them!

Possibly I'm trading fat for muscle. That'd be nice, considering how hard I've been working out since Worldcon... I feel like I've earned some muscle mass.

Aug. 18th, 2011

rengeek will and tilda

you move through my dreams like a trout moves through a pool

My handstands--against the wall, still--are actually getting pretty good. And a tiny bit less terrifying.

Now I just need the confidence to kick up into one. Or maybe I need a good spotter...

Forty next month, baby. And doing handstands for the first time in my life.

Jun. 1st, 2011

bad girls  mae west

never worked so long and hard to cement a failure

The handstand is repeatable.

I guess I need to start working on getting my headstands and elbow-stands away from the wall, and kicking up to an elbow-stand, which I can't quite do yet.

You know, handstands are kind of scary.

May. 31st, 2011

criminal minds diana reid crazy

everybody's running so who're you gonna trust?

ACTUAL HANDSTAND, ladies and gentlemen and those of non-binary gender persuasions.

Twice, in fact. Against the wall, and I walked up a doorframe rather than kicking up--but the second time, I held it for ten seconds, and I managed to lower in the approved fashion rather than walking back down the door (tuck legs and roll down onto feet).


I can tell I'm going to be doing this at every opportunity for a couple of weeks, as I did when I first figured out the magic that is wheel pose. Maybe at the climbing gym I can practice kicking up. They have pads, so it's not so scary.

I also managed five seconds of crow pose and thirty seconds of elbow stand. My writhing biceps, I show you them. (Seriously, you should see the deltoids I am growing.)

May. 30th, 2011

bad girls marlene make my day

there's never gonna be enough money. there's never gonna be enough drugs.

Practicing handstands.

Almost got my second foot off the door frame this morning, and my arms felt really secure. I think I need more back arch. I think that's the key at this point--managing my center of gravity.

Another attempt tomorrow.

Now I need to shower and sweep the floor. Not necessarily in that order.

May. 5th, 2011

literature sally and encyclopedia

i'm a basket case. i don't think i can love, love, love.

Really good yoga session this morning. I came the closest to a handstand yet: full arm extension, and one leg up against the wall I'm using for support. The other foot was still on the doorframe I'm using to walk myself upside-down, but hey, it's proof of concept! I managed to hold it for fifteen seconds, too.

So I'm strong enough. It's just a matter of getting my balance and confidence solid.


And now, shower, one last walk in this gorgeous cool morning, and then radio silence for travel and so forth.

See some, all, or none of you at LepreCon!

Mar. 12th, 2011

hustle mickey trust me

(no subject)

I managed 1.5 seconds of elbow stand today. Still not a handstand, and I wound up in headstand (Oh, the shoulder strength, where are you?)

But enough to cheer me up immensely.

Feb. 24th, 2011

phil ochs troubador

time makes you bolder. even children get older. and i'm getting older too.

Oh, bed. You are my only friend.

Climbed tonight. Seven routes, mostly easy. Still going light on a strained rotator cuff (it's a lot improved from four months ago) and a sore deltoid on the other side.

Turns out I can still do a headstand if I have a wall handy. I have every intention of working up to a handstand eventually. It's good to have goals. And you know, pushing forty and can still do a cartwheel, a headstand, and a somersault is not too shabby. (I can do a shoulderstand without a wall, even.)

This is all Rodney Yee's fault. I got his newish video. He's aging very well. (somebody alert stillsostrange) And I am increasingly aware that I am the same age as Shemar Moore, and not nearly so well-preserved. Ahem. ;-)

Also, I am learning to play "Landslide." I have the chords, and a start on the picking pattern. Not, admittedly, both at once.

It will be my first song on a capo. And it's still impossibly beautiful. I figure if I only learn impossibly beautiful songs, even I won't sound too bad singing them.

Fleetwood Mac was my favorite album in junior high school. (In high school, Operation: Mindcrime or possibly Ancient Heart. In grade school, it was Commoner's Crown. In college, Songs from the Wood. Immediately after, Fumbling Towards Ecstacy. Two years ago, The Mysterious Production of Eggs. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.)

A boy who was very bad for me once decided "Rhiannon" was my song.

May. 8th, 2007

criminal minds garcia glam femme geek

(no subject)

[11:27] tanaise: Incidentally, I'm planning to write a book called "Yoga With Breasts."
[11:27] matociquala: hee
[11:27] matociquala: and thighs.
[11:27] matociquala: don't forget the thighs
[11:27] tanaise: In which we learn poses that can be done with you know, extra flesh in the way.
[11:27] matociquala: Yes.
[11:28] matociquala: I am going to try plow pose today
[11:28] matociquala: I haven't been able to do it since I got heavy.
[11:28] matociquala: Pray for me.
[11:28] tanaise: Since my hips are also interfering with sideways bending at the waist positions.
[11:28] tanaise: make sure you've got a sports bra on!
[11:28] matociquala: I might suffocate!
[11:28] tanaise: or you'll suffocate and be found that way weeks later
[11:28] tanaise: and while it would end up on a CSI,
[11:28] matociquala: And they'll class it as autoerotic asphyxiation
[11:29] tanaise: "She must have been doing it for fun!"